Saturday, November 27
06:52 PM

Fingerlicking fare

9 Mar 2021

The weekend is yours, and you must make the most of it, to unwind as well as recharge your batteries for the next week. And what better way to do it than enjoying a wonderful finger-licking meal at home which transports you straight into another realm where flavours and aromas create a surreal ambience around you. Here’s how to churn out a simple yet delicious and spicy meal for the weekend – one that will overpower your senses and leave you floored in an instant.

Let’s make this weekend special with a memorable, spicy, Indian meal – Chicken Karhai accompanied by steamed rice and cucumber raita. Chicken Karhai is available in many avatars in different restaurants with different names (Chicken Handi, Chicken Masala, Chicken Do Pyaaza, Chicken Kurma, you can add man more), but it all boils down to a spicy chicken curry that delivers a punch with every mouthful. So, if you are ready for some dynamite on your plate, this page is for you!

Chicken Karhai is traditionally a spicy, tomato-based gravy prepared with no water at all. Onion is usually not a part of this recipe, though some versions use onions to add volume to the gravy and to tone down the heat. However, with the right amount of tomatoes, you don’t have to worry about letting the steam out of your ears. And with aromatic steamed rice and a cool cucumber raita on the side, this dish will descend with ease. So lets, get started!



Chicken Karhai


3tbsp oil or ghee

2 onions – sliced (optional)

8 cloves of garlic

2tsp ginger paste

2tsp julienned ginger

3-4 green chillies – slit

1tbsp cumin seeds

1tsp turmeric powder

2tsp red chilli powder or

1tbsp red chilli paste

2tsp coriander powder

1tso cumin powder

1tsp garam masla

Salt – to taste

5 medium sized tomatoes – chopped

1 chicken – chopped to large chunks

½ cup yoghurt – whipped

juice of half lemon

2tbsp chopped coriander – for garnish



Heat the oil and fry onions till golden brown. Crush the garlic with a stone and add to the oil along with ginger paste and 2 green chillies, and saute for 2-3 minutes. Add cumin seeds and saute for 1 minute. Then, add turmeric, chilli powder, coriander powder, cumin powder, and salt and saute for 2 minutes. Add the chopped tomatoes, mix well and cook on low flame for 15-20 minutes, covered. Add chicken and continue to cook on low flame for 6-8 minutes, covered. Now, add the yoghurt, garam masala powder, and lemon juice and mix well. Cover and cook on low flame for 10 minutes until chicken is nice and tender. Garnish with julienned ginger, 2 slit green chillies and chopped coriander.


Steamed rice



2 cups basmati rice (or any long grain rice)

4¼ cups water

1tsp lemon juice

1tsp ghee

1 bay leaf


Soak the rice in warm water for 30 minutes

Heat oil in a large pan and add the bay leaf. After 10 seconds, add the soaked rice, 4¼ cups water, and lemon juice. Cook on medium flame for 2 minutes, then reduce the flame to the lowest possible. Cover and cook for about 15 minutes, until rice is cooked well and all water has been absorbed. Remove and set aside to serve steaming hot with the Chicken Karhai

Cucumber raita


1 medium cucumber

2 cups thick yoghurt

1 sprig of mint or coriander leaves

A pinch of salt


Peel and chop the cucumber to thin, small bits. Whip up the yoghurt in a large bowl. Add a pinch of salt and the chopped cucumber and mix well.

Garnish with chopped mint/coriander leaves. Optionally, add a pinch of paprika powder or a tempering of ½tsp of cumin seeds in 1tsp of hot oil.

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